Panama Canal administrator Jorge Quijano said in a statement that the new tool will give its customers the "information needed to make a more informed and environmentally-conscious decision when planning their routes".
According to Panama Canal environmental specialist Alexis Rodriguez, the emissions calculator will work by leveraging technology already aboard the world's maritime fleet to capture an array of data on shippers, including vessel type, size, capacity, speed, fuel consumption and route and provide an accurate measure of the greenhouse gases (GHG) they emit.
The data will then be centralised in the CO2 Emissions Reduction Ranking, a specially designed platform which ranks customers by those with the fewest emissions each month.
Beyond shippers, the calculator will help the Panama Canal reduce its own carbon footprint. The waterway will use the emissions calculator to measure and track emissions from its domestic day-to-day operations and support the planning of a low carbon strategy that will be used to establish a roadmap for the Panama Canal to become a "carbon neutral" entity.
The emissions calculator will be housed within the Panama Canal's Green Connection Environmental Recognition Programme, and will advance the programme's work to promote emissions reductions by recognising vessels that comply with the highest environmental performance standards.